PSU RB Akeel Lynch: Will He Run to Iowa City?

By Mike Hlas, Reporter


By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Unless all reports of Penn State freshman-to-be running back Akeel Lynch considering a transfer to Iowa are bogus, Iowa could be facing quite the delicate little situation should Lynch opt to become a Hawkeye.

On one side, you have Iowa’s desperate need for capable running backs. Last weekend’s suspension of De’Andre Johnson merely added to that.

On the other, you have the fact that despite the cavalcade of coaches Illinois sent to State College last week, no Big Ten team has plucked a player from Penn State’s roster. In the meantime, USC, LSU, California, Rutgers, North Carolina State and Florida State have all done so.

So, that bridge hasn’t been crossed, and the first Big Ten program to poach from Penn State is probably in for a public-relations hit.

(An e-mailer correctly reminded me Michigan took PSU 2013 commit Ross Douglas shortly after the NCAA’s penalties were imposed on Penn State. I appreciated that. Readers are often the best sources, and it’s not just pandering to say that.)

On top of that, Penn State Coach Bill O’Brien was the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots for the last two years when Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz was New England’s tight ends coach. So if those two were chummy, that means Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has fondness and appreciation for O’Brien.

But Iowa needs running backs, and Lynch may be as good as any the Hawkeyes have coming to camp Friday.

Lynch is a Toronto native who prepped in Buffalo, N.Y. He originally gave a verbal commitment to Boston College last July, but opted out in January. He visited Iowa that month, and had the school in his final four choices with Penn State, Oklahoma and Mississippi. That was all after he was named the New York State Gatorade Player of the Year.

As a senior he had 213 carries for 2,131 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also ran the 100-yard dash in 10.6 seconds. This isn’t a backup defensive back. This is a running back who can shed tacklers and go, as the following video illustrates. The first carry is a doozy, by the way.

So, for all the tap-dancing and tip-toeing that would come from helping thin the roster of a Big Ten brother — the Nittany Lions have already lost proven-commodity running back Silas Redd to USC — we could find what takes precedence if Lynch says he wants to come to Iowa.

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